Saturday, August 27, 2016

Café Society (2016)

                                         “A classic Woody Allen point, sardonically bittersweet”


It’s that time again…………..that of many special occasions we have through the year!………………..When we loyally anticipate the new Woody Allen movie of the summer!!!

Café Society stars Jesse Eisenberg as Bobby, a young New Yorker who decides to move from home to LA to make it in Hollywood. Knowing he has an uncle in the business played by Steve Carrell, Bobby instances his uncle gives him a job and through that Bobby meets his uncle’s assistant Vonnie, played by Kristen Stewart. Though Vonnie works within Hollywood, she resists the life style and prefers things on a more intimate level and as her and Bobby work together, they bond on these ideals and Bobby begins to fall for her and in return falls for him. Things get fragmented though, as Bobby becomes more and more consumed by the Hollywood business, making Vonnie’s bond with him less enchanting while all the while knowing she had something real with him from the start.

What’s intriguing about Café Society is that most of the movie from the start is an exercise in distraction. Bobby’s career trajectory, Vonnie’s identity struggle and the conquests of the side characters hold no weight and purposely so, in order for the naturally realized epiphany of the movie to strike. Café Society is structured to express its main point; man-made excitement only goes so far in the human mind, because it isn’t tangle, as it maintains survival but isn’t the venture of survival. We pay more attention to status because it’s visible but not towards emotional bond because it’s not.

Café Society leaves to say, that so much can change and improve in your life. So much can go by and flourish, but the end result, no matter how big, falls short, when the couple of moments that lead to it all, can’t be recalled. Café Society will leave you stuck in your chair, realizing it’s those moments we need the most.

This may be Woody Allen’s darkest film yet.


-Maurice Jones

Monday, August 8, 2016

Creep (2014)

                                                                          “Staring is creepy”

Mark Duplass ventures into Psychological Torture Horror in Creep, a Found Footage film about a guy named Aaron (played by the film’s director Patrick Brice) who takes a job from an anonymous Craigslist ad asking for documentary assistance. Aaron drives out to said persons house to start the day uncertain whether it’s a man, woman or child, but when he gets there things seem eerie until he is startled by Joseph (played by Mark Duplass). Joseph seems friendly and inviting, giving Aaron a bit of a reason to cautiously let his guard down, yet something still seems off but maybe it’s all in Aaron’s head.


What Creep does well with this type of style, is put us on edge with not knowing what’s to happen next as everything is played so naturally. At the same time we’re put to easy because nothing is taken to a ridiculous height in terms of what’s possible of what would happen realistically. The Found Footage take on this type of Horror piece makes things more fearfully ambiguous, as Aaron is carrying the camera for most of the movie making you wonder what’s happening behind him, and when he sits the camera down you really get the sense it’s just two grown strangers in a house together and really anything could happen.


A knock on the film is the fact that Aaron is played to be nervous the entire movie, if he was more jovial and relaxed, the paranoia would be more palpable as in a sudden realization, but Aaron is constantly on edge making the vibe of the movie one note at times instead of an emotional rollercoaster of disappointment. Another knock as with many Found Footage movies, you feel annoyed that Aaron is documenting everything he’s going through but in this film it makes the most sense than in most Found Footage films to date.


Creep over all allows a naturally planned out plot development to make things more realistic and therefore scarier, as it helps to put us in this scenario and question how we would handle it and contemplate it. Mark Duplass does an excellent job playing an anxious psycho who’s somewhat misunderstood and yet vibrant and modern. You feel for him, fear him and are annoyed by him at all points. Only Mark Duplass could be enthusiastic enough to portray what he puts Aaron through, with his relentless energy and antics towards a quest for connection.


If you have a late night and want to check something out that’s both fun and intriguingly freaky, throw Creep on and treat it like crime evidence you just found…….you won’t regret it. Creep is an impressive experiment in the Horror genre all based on emotions, comedy and one lone camera that looked like a ton of fun to make.


-          Maurice Jones

Monday, August 1, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

“It’s all fun and games until you think about it…….so why think about it?”


Richard Linklater makes a conscientious film about the Jock mentality in Everybody Wants Some!!

The film begins a week before college starts in 1980 with baseball player/college freshman Jake arriving at his dorm, from there he meets his classmates/teammates whom are all on a baseball scholarship. Through the group of young athletes, Jake learns lessons about himself, baseball and the meaning of self identification.

Everybody Wants Some!! Is an analysis on the Jock perspective, Jake and his classmates are fun, charismatic young guys who love the world and what they can have in it, but they’re fun comes from conforming to mainstream culture in order to have a good time and to think about their actions means they’ll have to be isolated, that being the least popular vote in mainstream culture, especially of the 1980’s, so instead they go along with everything. Ironically though, by living for the moment one still excludes them from a large part of alternative culture that becomes more and more part of the norm as the years go by. Thinking they can pretend their way through everything uncaringly as popular culture dictates their lifestyles, which makes them the ultimate consumers through the idea of free sex and false masculinity. These guys aren’t going to change the world nor do they want to. Their indifference won’t allow them and having the best time ever and being the life of the party therefore creates the Reagan generation. While the most effective intelligent and insightful people in their lives fall to the waist side and aren’t taken seriously. They’re drowning in their own stereotype even though some of them are more conscious than they appear.

Though deep Everybody Wants Some!! Is an extremely fun film with jokes all around and very well portrayed characters and no sight of weak actors. It has the classic Linklater insight that allows things to be observed by the audience as opposed told to them. As noticed, the Jocks are the epitome of normal yet they are willing to try new things even if it’s only to get laid, but the film keeps in mind that the reason everyone else on campus strays from what the Jocks are about, is simply because of the needlessly obnoxious abusive neglectful behavior they can’t help be apart of.   

Everybody Wants Some!! Isn’t one of Richard Linklater’s most cohesive works or most original, but one can’t ignore the message here, especially his execution of it.


-          Maurice Jones